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Tim Wakefield

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Full Name: Timothy Stephen Wakefield Current Team: Boston Red Sox
Height/Weight: 6'2"/210 Number: 49
Birthdate: August 2, 1966 Entry Draft: 8th round (200th) in 1988
Birthplace: Melbourne, Florida Drafted By: Pittsburgh Pirates
Position: SP College: Florida Tech


Biography

Born on August 2, 1966 in Melbourne, Florida, Tim Wakefield (Timothy Stephen Wakefield) played for the Pittsburgh Pirates and Boston Red Sox over the course of his 14 year career. Wakefield broke into the bigs on July 31, 1992 with the Pittsburgh Pirates, and put up a 2.15 ERA in 92 innings pitched in 1992, his rookie year.

There is some disagreement on what was Tim Wakefield's most productive season. Some believe that it was 1995, when he posted a 2.95 ERA, won 16 games and struck out 119 batters. However, others believe that it was 2002, when he posted a 2.81 ERA, won 11 games and struck out 134 batters.

Wakefield lives and dies by his top pitch, the knuckleball. His "fastball" is the slowest in the major leagues. He's currently the only pitcher in baseball to use the knuckler as his premier pitch. It's hard to say that he has control of the pitch, as even he doesn't know how it's going to act once it leaves his hand, but he is confident enough with it to throw it in any count. And he keeps his walk rate at an acceptable level.

The elder statesman for the Sox is currently in his 12th season with the team. Wakefield. It's kind of ironic that the guy whose pitches are so inconsistent has been the most consistent player on the team for a long time. Used in the bullpen and in the rotation, he has given the Sox at least 140 IP every year he has been on the team. He is 3rd on the all-time Red Sox wins list with 132 and his 115 losses with the team are an all-time high. He's also second on the team's all-time list in games and walks and third in games started, innings pitched, and K's. His unique contract means that he will likely finish his career with Boston. Every year the Red Sox exercise his contractual option, a new option kicks in for the next year—so the Red Sox can keep exercising the knuckler's option until he decides to retire.

Scouting Report

Wakefield's signature knuckleball sits in the 60s. He will vary its velocity throughout the 60s in order to keep hitters off balance. He actually throws the pitch from the tips of his fingers, as opposed to his knuckles.

There is more to Wakefield's arsenal than just the knuckleball, though. He also regularly throws a big, slow curve ball, which sits at around 60 MPH. The pitch is almost an eephus pitch, and can be very tough when thrown for a strike. Wakefield will often use it when he is behind in a count, as the pitch is a bit easier to control than the knuckler at times.

Wakefield will also throw a fastball, though it can hardly be considered fast, even by Jamie Moyer's standards. He usually throws it between 73 and 77 mph. He only uses this pitch when he is behind in the count and needs to throw a strike.

Statistics

Pitching Stats

Year Team G GS W L ERA K R ER CG SHO SV IP H HR BB IB WP HBP
1992 PIT N 13 13 8 1 2.15 51 26 22 4 1 0 92 76 3 35 1 3 1
1993 PIT N 24 20 6 11 5.61 59 83 80 3 2 0 128.1 145 14 75 2 6 9
1995 BOS A 27 27 16 8 2.95 119 76 64 6 1 0 195.1 163 22 68 0 11 9
1996 BOS A 32 32 14 13 5.14 140 151 121 6 0 0 211.2 238 38 90 0 4 12
1997 BOS A 35 29 12 15 4.25 151 109 95 4 2 0 201.1 193 24 87 5 6 16
1998 BOS A 36 33 17 8 4.58 146 123 110 2 0 0 216 211 30 79 1 6 14
1999 BOS A 49 17 6 11 5.08 104 93 79 0 0 15 140 146 19 72 2 1 5
2000 BOS A 51 17 6 10 5.48 102 107 97 0 0 0 159.1 170 31 65 3 4 4
2001 BOS A 45 17 9 12 3.90 148 83 73 0 0 3 168.2 156 13 73 5 5 18
2002 BOS A 45 15 11 5 2.81 134 57 51 0 0 3 163.1 121 15 51 2 5 9
2003 BOS A 35 33 11 7 4.09 169 106 92 0 0 1 202.1 193 23 71 0 8 12
2004 BOS A 32 30 12 10 4.87 116 121 102 0 0 0 188.1 197 29 63 3 9 16
2005 BOS A 33 33 16 12 4.15 151 113 104 3 0 0 225.1 210 35 68 4 8 11
2006 BOS A 23 23 7 11 4.63 90 80 72 1 0 0 140 135 19 51 0 6 10
2007 BOS A 31 31 17 12 4.76 110 104 100 0 0 0 189 191 22 64 1 10 4
2008 BOS A 30 30 10 11 4.13 117 89 83 1 0 0 181 154 25 60 0 9 13
2009 BOS A
Total NL 37 33 14 12 4.17 110 109 102 7 3 0 220.1 221 17 110 3 9 10
Total AL 504 367 164 145 4.33 1797 1412 1243 23 3 22 2581.2 2478 345 962 26 95 153
Total 541 400 178 157 4.32 1907 1521 1345 30 6 22 2802 2699 362 1072 29 104 163

Fielding Stats

Year Team POS G GS INN PO A ERR DP TP PB SB CS PkO AVG
1992 PIT N P 13 13 92 6 19 0 1 0 4 4 9 3 1.000
1993 PIT N P 24 20 128.1 8 15 4 2 0 5 8 5 2 .852
1995 BOS A P 27 27 195.1 15 18 2 4 0 13 13 8 3 .943
1996 BOS A P 32 32 211.2 14 18 2 4 0 10 30 1 1 .941
1997 BOS A P 35 29 201.1 9 22 3 1 0 21 25 18 3 .912
1998 BOS A P 36 33 216 16 23 3 1 0 22 24 8 0 .929
1999 BOS A P 49 17 140 7 12 1 1 0 22 35 6 0 .950
2000 BOS A P 51 17 159.1 11 11 2 2 0 17 31 2 0 .917
2001 BOS A P 45 17 168.2 14 22 2 0 0 16 32 11 2 .947
2002 BOS A P 45 15 163.1 9 9 1 4 0 13 21 7 0 .947
2003 BOS A P 35 33 202.1 16 19 1 0 0 14 23 8 0 .972
2004 BOS A P 32 30 188.1 12 26 4 1 0 15 33 8 2 .905
2005 BOS A P 33 33 225.1 30 20 2 2 0 9 18 7 1 .962
2006 BOS A P 23 23 140 13 12 0 1 0 18 24 4 2 1.000
2007 BOS A P 31 31 189 14 22 0 3 0 6 41 8 0 1.000
2008 BOS A P 30 30 181 7 15 1 1 0 12 27 10 1 .957
2009 BOS A P
Total P 541 400 2802 201 283 28 28 0 217 389 120 20 .945

Batting Stats

Year Team G AB R H HR RBI AVG OBP SLG 2B 3B BB SO HBP SH SB IBB GDP
1992 PIT N 14 28 0 2 0 0 .071 .103 .071 0 0 1 9 0 4 0 0 0
1993 PIT N 24 43 3 7 1 3 .163 .163 .279 2 0 0 11 0 4 0 0 0
1995 BOS A 27 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1996 BOS A 32 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1997 BOS A 35 1 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
1998 BOS A 37 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .333 .000 0 0 1 2 0 2 0 0 0
1999 BOS A 49 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
2000 BOS A 52 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0
2001 BOS A 45 3 0 1 0 0 .333 .333 .333 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0
2002 BOS A 45 0 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0 0
2003 BOS A 35 0 0 0 0 0 .000 1.000 .000 0 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0
2004 BOS A 32 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 1 0 0 0 0 0
2005 BOS A 33 8 1 2 0 1 .250 .250 .250 0 0 0 2 0 1 0 0 0
2006 BOS A 23 4 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
2007 BOS A 31 2 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 2 0 0 0 0 0
2008 BOS A 30 3 0 0 0 0 .000 .000 .000 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0 0
2009 BOS A
Total NL 38 71 3 9 1 3 .127 .139 .197 2 0 1 20 0 8 0 0 0
Total AL 506 30 1 3 0 1 .100 .156 .100 0 0 1 20 1 5 0 0 0
Total 541 101 4 12 1 4 .119 .144 .168 2 0 2 40 1 13 0 0 0

Transactions

  • Selected by Pittsburgh Pirates in the 8th round of the free-agent draft (June 1, 1988 - signed June 3, 1988).
  • Released by Pittsburgh Pirates (April 20, 1995).
  • Signed by Boston Red Sox (April 26, 1995).
  • Granted free agency (November 1, 2000).
  • Signed by Boston Red Sox (December 7, 2000).

Trivia

  • Wakefield is the last rookie pitcher to throw 2 complete games in the postseason. He did it with the 1992 Pittsburgh Pirates.
  • Wakefield gave up the famous walk-off homer to New York Yankees' Aaron Boone in the 13th inning in Game 7 of the 2003 ALCS.
  • 1992 NL Rookie Pitcher of the Year by The Sporting News
  • 1995 AL Comeback Player of the Year by The Sporting News


See also

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